Third-generation devices on way


Lawrence,KS (10-22-2006)

From Lawrence Journal World
By Dave Toplikar



Nine-hundred eighteen? I looked up from the newspaper at my wife, and learned that Id heard right: According to our bill, our teenage daughter, Julie, had sent 918 text messages on her cell phone last month.
"We pay for the first 200," my wife told me, referring to our regular monthly charge. But each message after that costs something like 10 cents apiece.
Somehow, it didnt seem possible she would be sending so many little cryptic messages, such as "talk 2 u l8r!" on a phones alphanumeric keypad. It seemed easier to just use a voice message.
Another daughter, Katy, filled us in: "They do it during class."
Ah, that made sense. Sending a message during class on a phone is safer than having a teacher intercept a written note along the way, then read it out loud.
I started wondering what else wed be using our cell phones for in the future, besides sending secret messages.

More content, more services
If you think sending text messages, accessing simple Web pages or getting photos or even choppy video over your phone is fun, just wait. Third-generation--or 3G--phones will pack Wi-Fi-like Internet power into the palm of your hand, said Gary Minden, a Kansas University professor of electrical engineering.
Minden has been keeping tabs on the cellular phone industry as part of his research in information technology at KU.
"Were going to see quite a bit more of what your phones can deliver to you, in terms of information resources," Minden said.
First-generation mobile phones were analog devices that often produced sound with static, he said. Second-generation phones moved to digital transmission, offering the opportunity to not only talk, but also send and receive data into your phone.
These days, second-generation phones give you some choppy-looking video, some simple Web pages, ringtones, music, e-mail and text messages.
"And, if you have any kids, you know they use this extensively," Minden said, laughing.
How fast will they be? Data rates for a 3G phone will be comparable to whats available for a laptop at an Internet Wi-Fi hot spot, Minden predicted.
"Carriers will be looking for how to deliver more content and more services over a mobile network," he said. "In the future, well start seeing video delivered over cellular networks."
Thats right, mobile TV.
Cant watch your favorite sports events because youre stuck at a cousins wedding? No problem.
Minden predicts you might be able to subscribe to a service that would let you secretly watch video highlights on your phone as bridesmaids walk down the aisle.
"All day Saturday you would get video clips of the great plays happening in all the Big 12 games," Minden said. "You could see those shortly after they happened and see the highlights almost in real time."
He also talked about taking high-resolution photos over a phone. Or getting crystal-clear, digital quality music.
It almost seemed like one of those sci-fi secret agent gadgets that Q would have developed for James Bond.

For the complete article, go to www2.ljworld.com/news/2006/oct/22/thirdgeneration_devices_way/.

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